Our flight from Perth to Brisbane was an overnight and uneventful flight. Just the way they should be except for the fact that I suffered from earache for just about the whole flight. I often get nasty earache from the pressure changes when the descent into an airport starts, but this time I had it for the entire flight and then the descent into Brisso was extremely painful and seemed to last forever.
We boarded again at Brisbane on time but then there was an announcement to say that a passenger had left something in his checked baggage that wasn’t allowed to go into the cargo hold so they’d have to remove all the bags until they found the right one, remove the offending item and reload the bags before we could take off. This had us sitting in the plane on the tarmac for over an hour. They finally found the bag, took the owner down to remove the item, brought him back on board with it, and reloaded the bags. It turns out that lithium batteries (e.g. camera batteries which this was) are not allowed to be carried in the hold as they can ignite. The passenger had come on board carrying a large professional type movie camera so our guess was that the case with his gear was too big and they made him check it, but didn’t tell him to keep his spare battery with him until too late! It seems pretty ridiculous that this wasn’t picked up until we were ready to take off. I wonder how many people have lithium camera batteries in their checked luggage!
We arrived in Auckland with no more incidents and after clearing immigration and customs and picking up our rental car we hit the road just in time to also hit peak hour traffic.
We had about a 2 hour drive to our destination, Mount Maunganui. The drive was very pretty and very green, through mostly farming land. We did drive though a gorgeous rainforest gorge but it was getting late and we didn’t have time to stop for a walk.
We finally arrived at Mount Maunganui and our accommodation just after 7:30pm. The receptionist told us we had a room with a view of both the mount and the ocean and a lovely balcony. Yes we did. While the balcony looked over the road to the mount and the window above the telly gave us a view between the twin tower apartment buildings to the ocean, the room was very nice.
We had a quick bite to eat at the café downstairs and then hit the sack.